Path Forbidden (1914)

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In 1914, practically the only special effect that could be created in film was the double exposure, and for its less technologically advanced time, this picture does it particularly well. The scenario was adapted from a novel by John B. Hymer and featured Octavia Handworth in not two, but three roles. Her first is as Violet, the frivolous wife of Joe Brill (William A. Williams). After the wedding, she refuses to stay at home the way proper women of 1914 should, and goes off carousing with men friends and causing a lot of gossip. Brill finally tosses her out of the house, and insists on keeping their twin daughters. Violet, however, steals one and, for all intents and purposes, disappears for the next 20 years. She dies, but her daughter Pearl (Miss Handworth again), has adopted her carefree ways. The other girl, Lucy (Miss Handworth' third role), runs the country hotel while her father lays in a hospital, recovering from a stroke. Pearl has somehow managed to nab a decent young lawyer chap, Curtis Holmes (Gordon DeMaine), but she runs off with a dope-addicted gambler. They have an auto accident and Pearl is taken to the hotel run by Lucy. Although the two girls note their resemblance, they consider it a coincidence. Holmes comes around searching for Pearl and finds Lucy instead. He decides that she is really what he's looking for and proceeds to put Pearl out of his mind. Lucy brings her father home from the hospital shortly before Pearl accidentally sets the barn on fire with her cigarette during a dance (cigarettes were nasty no-nos for 1910s women, and even dances could be questionable!). She sprains her ankle trying to escape and is saved by Brill. He finally figures out that she is the missing twin and they are reunited. Lucy marries Holmes and Pearl reforms and stays with her father.